If you’ve ever wondered if eating a little nug of the dank goodness you just brought home will cause the same effects as smoking it, the short answer is no. Fresh flowers from female cannabis plants are usually smoked or vaporized for the range of mental and physical effects they exhibit, but swallowing a small bud won’t do a thing to help get you high.
To understand why eating raw weed doesn’t get us high, we must first come to terms with what seems an impossible truth: living cannabis plants do not contain the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that pot is famous for. Living cannabis plants and freshly picked buds are, however, abundant with tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), which is the non-psychoactive (but possibly therapeutic) cannabinoid which becomes THC when heated via smoking, vaping, or cooking. When a harvested crop is stored properly, some of the THCA slowly converts into THC, which is why so many growers subject their plants to a curation process rather than selling fresh buds to dispensaries immediately. This process of “activating THC” is known as decarboxylation, and it is essential if you’re consuming marijuana to experience its unique properties.
Another reason eating raw weed won’t get you high is that THC has to enter your bloodstream to reach its receptors. Marijuana isn’t easy for our bodies to process, and when we eat raw flowers much of the trace amount of THC that enters our stomach is expelled through our digestive system, never to reach the bloodstream. However, if your hope for eating raw cannabis to get high stems from a desire to avoid the harm smoking may cause your lungs, you can enjoy the psychoactive properties of marijuana by eating proper edibles made with a cannabis-infused substance such as butter, oil, or alcohol. There are many types of cannabis-infused foods and drinks, but none of them contain raw weed or flowers.
While eating marijuana does not get you stoned, we should not ignore the fact that hemp seeds have been recognized as an important food source for thousands of years, as a rich source of essential oils, vitamins, and cannabinoid acids, which help maintain basic cell functions. Still not convinced that eating cannabis won’t get you at least a tiny bit high? Go ahead, try a bit. Prepare for sticky teeth and a possible stomach ache. You’ll wish you smoked it.
Eating Raw Cannabis
Juicing leafy greens like spinach and kale for their healthy properties might not sound that amazing to you unless you’re a juicing enthusiast. But pressed vegetable juices are increasing in popularity — with consumers, nutritionists, athletes and healthcare professionals.
Have you ever considered juicing marijuana, though? What we’re talking about here is the juicing of raw cannabis, and it’s nutritionally complete and very therapeutic — not to mention, since it’s freshly harvested and not dried or cured, it won’t get you stoned.
The Benefits of Raw Marijuana
The marijuana plant’s leaves are rich in properties such as antioxidants, polyphenols and antibiotics as well as cancer-reducing and anti-inflammatory compounds known as cannabidiols. These compounds are what makes raw weed a superfood.
In fact, the marijuana plant is made up of more than 400 different chemical compounds. Because of the number of acids, vitamins and essential oils in the plant, experts like Dr. William Courtney, who provides patients with raw marijuana therapeutic services in his Luxembourg clinic, call cannabis a “dietary essential.”
Marijuana is a powerfully beneficial vegetable. Even its seeds have nutritional value and contain:
- Minerals (calcium, iron, etc.)
- Fatty acids (Omegas 3,6,9 and palmitic and stearic acid)
- Vitamins (A, B1, 2 & 3, C, and E)
The protein content in cannabis seeds contains amino acids, including those the human bodies need and can’t produce on its own. Also, a tablespoon of hemp seed can have up to 2,500 mg of omega-6 fatty acids and up to 1,000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.
When you juice the leaves, you extract essential minerals, antioxidants and other elements as well. They include:
The marijuana plant has more abundance and variety of plant phytochemicals, which are stored in the trichome heads and leaf tissue, than just about any other species. For instance, it shares limonene with lemons, beta carotene with carrots and anthocyanins with cherries and blood oranges. Anthocyanins are a very effective analgesic even though they are non-narcotic.
Along with its nutritional value, raw weed also contains cannabinoids (acidic form) and terpenes (essential oils in marijuana) that are responsible for most of marijuana’s therapeutic effects. And, since marijuana contains high cannabinoid acid concentrations, it’s considered to be an exceptional plant in the nutrition world, with its acids being essential for basic cell function.
Raw marijuana juice activates the endocannabinoid receptors of your brain and prompts an antioxidant release that removes damaged cells from your body. Both humans and animals have an endocannabinoid (EC) system that manages a broad range of physiological processes, such as pain sensation, memory, appetite and mood.
The EC receptors are located in your connective tissue, brain, glands, organs and immune cells in your body. Your body produces endocannabinoids naturally to stimulate all those functions. However, cannabis also stimulates your EC receptors and boosts your well-being.
According to studies, raw weed has the potential to:
- Treat lupus and arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Treat neurodegenerative diseases due to its neuroprotective properties.
- Help with appetite loss and nausea due to its antiemetic properties.
- Prevent the spread of malignant cells of prostate cancer because of its anti-proliferative properties.
- Prevent cell damage that can lead to serious illness and poor health due to it being rich in nutrients like protein and essential amino acids, omegas 3 and 6 fatty acids and antioxidants.
The U.S. federal government found in its pre-patent research that CBD was a stronger antioxidant than vitamins C or E. Since you’re able to consume CBDs in large amounts when eating raw pot, you’re also increasing the number of antioxidants you’re getting per serving.
The terpenes are thought to have their health benefits as well. For instance, linalool is said to have anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
The Difference Between THC and THCA
Raw cannabis has two primary cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). The “a” represents that they’re non-psychoactive, acidic form. Your body can metabolize THCA in larger doses than THC since it’s non-psychoactive. Therefore, if you’re looking for the medicinal benefits of marijuana but don’t want to get “high,” THCA is a better option.
There hasn’t been enough research conducted on THCA to positively state how effective it is and what it treats, though. However, preliminary research is suggesting that as the industry evolves, THCA will become a big part of marijuana medicine.
The main difference between THC and THCA is that when the pot plant is growing, it isn’t psychoactive. The THC psychoactive chemical isn’t present as of yet. It’s only in its elemental or decarboxylated form (THCA). You wouldn’t receive any effect from the fresh buds of the plant. You first need to convert the THCA into THC to get the psychosomatic effect you get with marijuana.